Design firm takes top award

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Design consultancy Design Futures has picked up a top award after using a revolutionary new material to make gift bags for a jewellery company.

The Sheffield Hallam University-based consultants’ use of a new, mouldable paper, called FibreForm, to make the gift bags for Yorkshire-based Kiroco Jewellery secured it the Innovation Of The Year accolade at the UK Packaging Awards.

Judges also highly commended the Design Futures team in the category for best carton-board pack.

FibreForm was developed by Swedish paper producer BillerudKorsnas as an alternative to plastic, glass or metal for the food industry.

But Design Futures so the opportunity to use the material to make handbag-style gift containers, which have now gone into mass production for Kiroco.

The consultancy has also developed a new production and prototyping method to help manufacture new FibreForm designs at its Sheffield Hallam base and is working with a range of companies to produce new packaging formats.

Design Futures creative director John Kirkby said: “To win Innovation of The Year shows that we are mixing it with the big boys when it comes to using cutting-edge techniques to provide economical and environmental packaging solutions.

“Working with a new material is always very exciting.

“It allows designers to push boundaries and create truly innovative new designs. The exceptional strength of FibreForm means it can be formed to replace some plastics with paper, a far more sustainable product.

“Our main focus is innovation so to be recognised for it by the industry in this way is a particular thrill.”

Design Futures’ Innovation of the Year Award follows on from its success earlier in the year when it won a gold award for Best Packaging at the International Cider Challenge, organised by Off Licence News.

The consultancy picked up the award after designing new packaging for a premium cider, brewed by the monks of Ampleforth Abbey, in Yorkshire.

And the company is no stranger to success.In last year’s UK Packaging Awards awards the consultancy took top prize for a cradle style packaging for a cupcake manufacturer that allowed customers to eat their tasty treats on the go.